Friday, October 5, 2012
Recap: A Look Back On VSP’s Adoption of Chester
VSP Vision Care’s week-long visit to Chester, Pennsylvania with NBA Sacramento Kings player Tyreke Evans to celebrate our adoption of the city was a tremendous success. We provided 130 uninsured residents with free health services as well as more than 900 additional people with free gift certificates redeemable for care. We’ve been updating you daily on our trip, but here’s a recap of what happened on Friday, September 28th and Saturday, September 29th.
Our trip ended with VSP providers Dr. Bob Owens, Dr. Maria Homa-Palladino and Dr. Barry Toyzer volunteering in the mobile eyecare clinic on Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 at Showalter Middle School and 9th Street Youth and Community Center. More residents received comprehensive eye exams and glasses and some for the first time in their lives.
Every year VSP’s mobile clinic will return to the city to provide care directly to the community. Gift certificates will also be available throughout the year as needed.
From giving students with poor vision new eyeglasses to helping the individuals who found out they had dangerously high blood sugar levels, it was a great week. Looking into the children’s excited faces as they got brand new glasses or played basketball with an NBA star or took home their favorite books were priceless moments that we will never forget. The underserved community members in Tyreke’s hometown were happy to receive these free health services, but we were happier for another chance to give the gift of sight and make a long-term commitment to partner with such a warm community.
You can find more pictures at our Chester gallery.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Day 4: VSP and Tyreke Present Donated Books to J. Lewis Crozer Library
Yesterday, VSP and Tyreke spent most of the day at J. Lewis Crozer Library where Tyreke presented a donation of books collected by VSP employees and read “If You Were a Penguin” to a group of children.
Each child was also given a book to take home!
And as a gesture of gratitude, J. Lewis Crozer Library presented Tyreke with his very first library card.
Meanwhile, diabetes screenings also took place throughout the day in Chester. Two people with high blood sugar levels were sent to the emergency room for further care. One patient knew she had diabetes but couldn’t afford the appropriate supplies to check her blood sugar level on her own. Both VSP and the woman were grateful to be there to offer the community much needed care.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Day 3: Eye Exams, Diabetes Screenings and Shooting Hoops
Children were excited to meet Tyreke yesterday when he stopped by Columbus Elementary School. He spoke to them about the importance of staying active, eating healthy and getting annual comprehensive eye exams in support of the Let’s Move! Campaign initiated by Michelle Obama. The students received eye exams and glasses onboard VSP’s fully equipped mobile clinic, which will help many of them succeed in school even more.
A nurse also provided diabetes screenings to local residents. Diabetes is one of the major serious health conditions that the Chester community is at risk for according to the Chester County Health Profile 2012.
Afterwards, the kids excitedly showed the NBA player their basketball skills. Tyreke also signed autographs and was just as thrilled to spend time with the younger generation of Chester.
Check out some fun photos below of Tyreke speaking to the Columbus Elementary School students.
Tyreke’s next stop will be at J. Lewis Crozer Library to make a book donation on behalf of VSP Vision Care employees. Find out what happens tomorrow!
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Day 2: Official Launch of Chester Adoption and a Birthday Surprise
Tuesday, September 25 was the second day that VSP was in Chester, Pennsylvania with NBA star Tyreke Evans providing free vision services to local residents in need. Here’s a recap of the action-packed and fun-filled day.
The City of Chester held a press conference at the local Boys and Girls Club to officially announce VSP’s adoption of the city. Chester Mayor John Linder, NBA star Tyreke Evans and VSP Mobile Clinic Coordinator Niki Thomas spoke about the significance of VSP’s partnership with Chester and the tremendous impact it will have on the health of the community. Mayor Linder also thanked Tyreke for his commitment to help his hometown.
Then, Tyreke gave Mayor Linder and Council Members a tour of VSP’s 45-foot-long, state-of-the-art mobile eyecare clinic. They greeted residents who were undergoing eye exams and picking out glasses. Some of them realized they should get an eye exam, too!
What happened next took Tyreke by surprise – the Boys and Girls Club of Chester sang happy birthday to their hometown hero and presented Tyreke with a custom birthday cake.
Following are a few photo highlights from the day.
A full gallery can be found HERE.
Check back tomorrow to find out what happened at Columbus Elementary School!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Day 1: VSP’s Adoption of Chester Celebration Kicks-off with Excitement
VSP’s first day in Chester, Pennsylvania to provide local residents with free eyecare and eyewear was a success!
Yesterday, VSP’s 45-foot-long, state-of-the art mobile eyecare clinic visited Stetster Elementary School, where Dr. Becky Verna, O.D. volunteered to give students comprehensive eye exams and glasses. Some of them never received a comprehensive eye exam before even though many of them had vision problems that interfered with their learning. One student had extremely poor vision, and Dr. Verna admitted she had no idea how he was able to see anything in the classroom. At the end of the day, the child excitedly walked around showing off his new pair of glasses.
In the afternoon, the mobile eyecare clinic opened up its doors to other nearby residents. A woman in desperate need of eyecare drove an hour to receive VSP’s free services. The most familiar face that stopped by for an eye exam was Chester Mayor John Linder. Mayor Linder and the Chester community were grateful to have VSP in their hometown, but most of all VSP was happy to give back to this deserving community!
We are excited to hold a press conference later today to officially announce VSP’s adoption of Chester and our effort to help this incredible community. There are many more stories to tell as we are constantly reminded about the importance of making eyecare services accessible to everyone, so please check back each day as we continue to share our journey! Check out this video of one woman who thanks VSP for her new eyeglasses.
Monday, September 24, 2012
We’re Adopting Chester, PA – Hometown of NBA Star Tyreke Evans
Today kicks off a week of activities that we hope will make a lifelong impact on the people of Chester, PA. Tomorrow, VSP, along with NBA star and Chester native Tyreke Evans, will announce the adoption of Chester, including a plan to ensure the vision needs of all residents without vision coverage are met (up to $1 million per year).
Knowing that healthy vision is essential to a child’s ability to achieve their full academic potential, our goal is to make a major impact both on the health and future of residents and students in Chester. VSP will bring its 40-ft mobile eyecare clinic to Chester once a year to provide underprivileged students with free eye exams and eyewear they need, but do not have access to. Gift certificates will be available year-round for free eye exams and glasses.
Each day this week we’ll be visiting a different community in Chester and will share daily updates right here on our blog – including photos and video clips with Tyreke, local students and more. So check back often and leave comments. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
In the meantime, as we bring much deserved care to the people of Chester, we want to know: What do you care about? Post a photo to Twitter or Instagram of what you care about and tag it with #BecauseEyeCare. Both VSP and Tyreke will share our favorite images and help spread the word about what you care about!